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Beauty influencers jump onto OnlyFans

You may know OnlyFans as the 5-year-old social platform devised for pornography. Yes, I said porn, but the kind where home-made pornstar hopefuls and sex workers are called content creators, who earn money from users who subscribe to their content. It allows content creators to receive funding directly from their fans on a monthly basis as well as one-time tips.

The platform broke into the mainstream in 2020 as people sought to supplement a sudden loss of income due to COVID-19 and were driven to consume more digital entertainment. Some went to showing off dance routines on Tik Tok, others to paid-for pics on OnlyFans.

Now OnlyFans is trying to stand for more than just sex.

And trying to capitalise on its rapid growth by expanding into the world of beauty. A category which is known for its abundance of influencers, shaking up the industry with wide-ranging representations, bold looks and style that challenges mainstream conventions. From the likes of Kylie Jenner and Jeffree Star to our locally loved Eleanor Pendleton and Chloe Morello.

Social media’s landscape has been evolving for years. Consumers now expect free and exclusive content across platforms like Instagram and YouTube, leaving content creators anxiously trying to develop quality content daily to keep their audiences entertained and engaged, all at no cost.

Until now.

For beauty influencers, OnlyFans is a welcomed alternative to free IGTV tutorials and Tik Tok transformations, with an opportunity for being paid to provide comprehensive, in-depth tutorials and sharing their top beauty tips.

“You can charge as much (or as little) as you’d like without having to rely on using affiliate links or waiting for sponsorship opportunities to come to you,” says OnlyFans on the benefits of joining as a beauty influencer. “With OnlyFans, the ball is completely in your court.”

CEO Tim Stokely told BuzzFeed News in May that the site averaged 200,000 new users and 8,000 new content creators every day. As of August, the site has more than 50 million total registered users and some 700,000 content creators.

Gabi Mrugala , joined OnlyFans in November 2020 after a friend suggested it. Prior to OnlyFans, Mrugala worked in the film industry and was looking to build an audience for her self-help wellness & beauty content. She said she likes that her videos and photos on OnlyFans can be less polished than those on Instagram and still gain traction.

Subscribing to GroovyGabs is free, but Mrugala monetizes through tips and direct-message gratuities. She also has an Amazon wishlist for flowers.

Alongside up-and-coming influencers, Cardi B is the biggest celebrity to join the platform. "I feel like people are using it in a different way now, like the way I'm using it," she told i-D. "But whatever way people are using OnlyFans, I don't have a problem with it, you know what I'm saying?"

Many people who already have large followings on other social platforms, like Cardi B, are using OnlyFans to share exclusive, but not sexually explicit, content for paying fans.

According to Bloomberg, OnlyFans is seeking outside capital at a $1 billion valuation and to become more of a “mainstream media platform,” rather than a place for porn. In Dec. 2020, OnlyFans soft-launched OF.TV, which offers broader lifestyle content on topics like meditation, cooking, music and comedy.

But, as The New York Times reported in May, even the non-adult content across the platform is greeted with unwanted sexual association. Mrugala said she does not promote her OnlyFans account through her other social profiles and does not publicly tell people she has an OnlyFans, as she is waiting until the stigma of association goes away..

Despite its association with the porn industry, OnlyFans can be a powerful and lucrative platform for all types of creators, and the site seems to be actively working to prove that.

I am here for any platform that empowers creators and am intrigued to see what exclusive beauty-inspired content is to come.

You can read more on the OnlyFans blog here.

Lauren Benezra



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